For the act to be spontaneous, said Rosenberg, the will must be pure. The downtown painters liked the impatient sweep of Rosenberg's rhetoric. They liked his assumption that New York painting was now crucial to its moment. But they couldn't work up much interest in the idea of purity. De Kooning detested it, or so he told Thomas B. Hess one afternoon late in the fifties, on a walk through the galleries of the Metropolitan. Hess had invited the painter to visit the museum and say whatever came to mind; afterward, he published some of his friend's remarks in Artnews.